Suspect in Palm Bay double-homicide case found dead in jail

Edgard Fuentes, who broke into a Palm Bay home and set his wife and son on fire, was found dead at the Brevard County Jail.
Edgard Fuentes, who broke into a Palm Bay home and set his wife and son on fire, was found dead at the Brevard County Jail.

PALM BAY, Florida – The man who allegedly broke into a home and set his wife and son on fire was found dead at the Brevard County Jail over the weekend, authorities said.

Edgard Fuentes, 65, was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of arson.

The fire occurred on Jan. 11, 2017 at his Palm Bay home located in the 500 block of Ixora Avenue.

Fuentes was in jail waiting on trial. A cellmate found his body just after midnight Saturday, slumped forward with a sheet around his neck.

The cellmate told corrections deputies who then attempted to revive Fuentes. Investigators said notes from Fuentes were found in the cell.

Palm Bay police said that prior to the murder, Fuentes had gotten into an argument over ownership of a vehicle several days earlier with family members at a bowling alley.

Palm Bay detectives “were aware that he hung himself over the weekend,” said Lt. Steve Bland, spokesman for the agency which investigated the grisly slayings.

Police said Fuentes broke into the family home about midnight, splashed his estranged wife with the gasoline and then got into a struggle with his son Erik Montes before using a Bic lighter to set off the fire.

The wife and son died hours after the fire at the burn center at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Fuentes captured the following day at an interstate rest stop and was also hospitalized for burns he received while igniting the fire.

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Scott Lee travels between Brevard County and Indian River County and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Lee also writes for Sebastian Daily covering Vero Beach and Florida news. Currently, he covers Palm Bay, West Melbourne, and the Melbourne area.
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